Journey through GSoC(Google Summer of Code)2020 with Redhat(JBOSS)

Through GSoC’20

It was around 9 p.m. on 4th May 2020 and my heart was beating fast and I was getting anxious. It was still 2 more hours to go for the results and I was finding it difficult to pass even a minute. I was roaming on the roof restlessly and continuously checking the clock. It was then my friends pinged me and asked if I was available for an online game. They asked vaguely coz they know I’d be least interested. I took them by surprise and started playing with them until 10:45 when we were all done. Now the last 15 minutes were remaining and they were the most difficult for me. I was getting even more anxious with every passing second and finally, it was 11:00. I was checking my email continuously but there was nothing. Then I opened the GSoC portal and there the projects were listed. I hastily scrolled through and finally found my name. The tons of anxiety suddenly turned into excitement. I called my family and made them all super-excited too !!

Note: I’ve already written another post that highlights some important guidelines to consider while applying for GSoC here.

The Beginning…

It was towards the end of February that I scrolled through the listed projects and I came across Starfish(later renamed Starfix). I found the idea very interesting and immediately tried to get in touch with the associated mentor. I first tried reaching via email and then joined in on the Zulip channel. Soon I opened a PR within a week and started discussing over the idea and technologies. That PR is still open and has 68 commits and 104 conversations.

Gradually I started developing an archetype of the final product starting from plain Java codes and then gradually generating native binaries using GraalVM. I kept progressing gradually taking regular feedback from mentor and towards the end I had developed more than 30% of the final application. Js is a simple language(I needed that for making browser extension) and Java was always my first programming language but there were a lot of technologies that I was working on which I had never even heard of. My development experience helped me here a lot.

The most important here thing I would say was : “being comfortable with being uncomfortable”.

And then we start to sail…

As soon as the selection results were out my mentor congratulated me and asked me for a meetup. In the first meetup, we had a very cordial conversation and we finalized our further routes(timelines).

The Awesome Mentor: Max Rydahl Andersen

I never even dreamt of being mentored by a Distinguished Engineer at Redhat. And the way he mentored me was more than I ever expected. As an undergrad I was quite a newbie to Software Development(I knew some but here I felt like a noob) and little did I know about SDLC. But Max never let that thing affect my performance and output. To bridge the gap he regularly gave me appropriate examples to refer and resources to go through. There were things I didn’t ever know before but I learned them and implemented them in a very short period of time(I had never ever set up CI/CD from scratch before, nor I ever wrote Units Test in JUNIT5). Apart from being very friendly, he is also flexible, highly intellectual, and open-minded. He always gave space for my thoughts and ideas and was always open to discussion on the choice of technology and methodology I should proceed with, thus helping me clear even the smallest of my doubts.

TL;DR? Max is supercool and just Awesome.

Learn more about him: @maxandersen

Phase 1 begins…

In this phase, I was focused more on developing the CLI tool and ensuring that it includes all aspects of all three OS(Linux, Windows,macOS). I was trying to imagine every possible scenario and then writing tests for them. This phase was the most important of all because I had to learn a lot of technologies very quickly and implement them as well.

First Evaluation:

Though I was quite sure that I’d pass this evaluation but still I was worried a little. After a wait of around a week, I was happy to receive the email that I passed the Evaluation. This evaluation was very helpful for me because Max could give out feedbacks to me on how can I could improve. And yes they were very very helpful to me.

Phase 2 and Phase 3:

Every week I used to meet my mentor and discuss the problems that I need to solve and decide milestones to achieve. All the more, the excitement and enthusiasm never decreased because there were always new problems to solve, and new technology to work upon.

Oh yeah, another thing that I forgot to mention earlier was the language. We both used to talk in the same language(English ) but he often faced difficulty in understanding me because of the Indian accent and I too found it difficult sometimes because of his Swizz accent.

Final meet:

This was supposed to mark the end of GSoC 2020. Around the final evaluations coming up I had the final meet with my mentor. I was getting emotional because I had been enjoying this journey with him and moreover he is a super awesome guy. I then made a final post on Linkedin:

Every day has been exciting in the last few months. I love Ideation and Innovation but it becomes even more challenging when you’ve to work on technologies you never even heard of. Yeah, that’s actually the most awesome part of #gsoc!! You never get exhausted and never lose the enthusiasm in fact it grows even more.

I am really thankful to my mentor Max Rydahl Andersen
who has been
super cool about new ideas, better solutions and always helping me out. The entire #jboss and #redhat community are very supportive.

#gsoc #opensource #quarkus


GSoC is more than just an open-source program. It gives wings to your ideas and let you bring them to reality. It’s focused around ideation and innovation. You’ve found a real-life problem and want to solve it?GSoC is the best place to make it happen OR you’ve got ideas to improve the existing technologies? Simply propose your ideas, convince the organizations that you can make it happen, and then get yourselves funded by Google and mentored by the most esteemed organizations of this world. Yeah, that's one of the best parts of GSoC other being the exposure you receive while working with such experienced and senior developers. (Of course, the handsome stipend you receive is an awesome part as well).

Read more about my Project here.

Project Listing on GSoC Page here.

Connect with me:



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